The African Development Bank (AfBD) has just released a report containing the visa openness index in the continent. Visa openness, is about facilitating free movement of people. It is about getting more people mobile to carry out their business easily, spontaneously, quickly, with minimum cost.
The Africa Visa Openness Index measures how open African countries are when it comes to visas by looking at what they ask of citizens from other countries in Africa when they travel.
AfDB moves ahead on first Africa Visa Openness Index and showcases Rwanda and Mauritius as top performers on the index.
The report showed that Africans don’t need a visa to 20% of other African countries. It also revealed that Africans can get visas on arrival in 25% of other African countries which shows the level of bilateral relationship between African countries.
Africans need visas to travel to 55% of other African countries.
Over 60% of African countries with low visa openness scores do not offer any visas on arrival.
The top performers on the index in terms of visa openness are:
In West Africa, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Gambia, Guinea-Bissau, Mali, Mauritania and Togo
In East Africa, Burundi, Djibouti, Kenya, Rwanda, Somalia, Tanzania and Uganda
In South Africa, COmoros, Madagascar, Mozambique, Seychelles and Zambia
70% of countries in the top 20 are either in West Africa or East Africa
Also, only 13 out of 55 Africa countries offer liberal access i.e visa free or visa on arrival, to all Africans.
15 African countries out of the top 50 countries that improved visa procedures the most from 2010 to 2014 are in the top 20 in the Africa Visa Openness Index
Finally, Only 9 African countries offer eVisas and they are; Ivory Coast, Gabon, Kenya, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sao Tome and Principe, Sierra Leone, Zambia and Zimbabwe.